In the beautifully quaint town of Hope, Alaska is where you will meet up with your whitewater rafting guide to start your adrenaline-packed excursion down Sixmile Creek. “Hope City” was a mining camp for Resurrection Creek (which is a waterway in the Kenai Peninsula), and was established in 1896. Formerly a mining town, this warm and welcoming place is now a popular year-round getaway for many residents in Anchorage and throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Along with Bear Creek and Glacier Creek, Sixmile Creek is a tributary Turnagain Arm. The stream’s watershed drains 161 square miles on the north side of the Kenai Peninsula, and the town of Hope, Alaska is located at the mouth of the creek’s. The Hope Road Turnoff passes alongside Resurrection Creek.
Six Mile Creek is often times said to be one of the most challenging class IV and V whitewater rafting trips in Alaska, according to our friends at NOVA Alaska. This trek is the premier whitewater rafting trip on Alaska’s Playground, and one of the best in North America according to lots of reviews. There are three canyons, each progressively more challenging with narrow routes, steep drops, beautiful pools, and adrenaline pumping rapids all in a gorgeous semi-rain forest.
Rising over 500 feet in places, these towering canyon walls are draped in a lush carpet of old growth rain-forest with cascading waterfalls pouring in from the sides. Crystal clear water with healthy salmon runs make this a river runner’s dream. Safely running Six Mile’s narrowly constricted passageways takes a coordinated team effort with technical and precise paddling. Working closely with your guide, you’ll be paddling while (s)he handles the oars. This oar paddling combination gives you power when you need it, as well as precise maneuvering capability, according to Chugach Outdoor Center. For those who want the most excitement we offer paddle rafting, everyone paddles with the guide sitting in the back giving paddle commands. Six Mile has such an abundance of whitewater that one rapid will quickly fade from memory as you anxiously look downriver preparing for the next. Precipitous drops, thundering hydraulics and powerful waves follow one after the other in quick succession. With each succeeding canyon, we’ll encounter whitewater of increasing difficulty. With rapids known as “Staircase,” “Suckhole,” “Merry-Go-Round” and “Jaws,” the third and most difficult canyon has six rapids rated at Class IV+ and Class V.
For those up to the challenge, Six Mile Creek is truly the ride of a lifetime! All passengers must be physically capable of passing a paddler’s practice swim due to the very versatile terrain that mill be covered.
Multiple experienced guides will closely monitor your “practice swim” to assure that you have proper form and a concise understanding of all water-safety concepts needed for ultimate safety.
And with the terrain you will be covering, pictures of these remind us of exactly why the outfitters require that you pass a “paddler’s practice swim” before embarking on a float… HOLY SMOKES!
And at the end of the intense, heart-pounding trip… you realize that you develop a very special bond with your raft team almost immediately. Trooping the whitewater of Six Mile Creek is no joke! It is the real deal, indeed!
It wasn’t until the early 80’s, when NOVA pioneered the Six Mile Whitewater Rafting excursions when they convinced the Forest Service to allow them to run commercial trips. Back in those days it was done with non-self bailing rafts (bucket boats). There are few companies in the world who can say they were around and used them and especially on class IV and V whitewater.
It is really cool and really quite special that we have this great group of fun-loving professionals at Nova Alaska as well as many other excellent outfitters including Chugach Outdoor Center, in our very own backyard on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! If you decide to take a journey of your own down Six Mile Creek, or if you’ve already done so and have some really great memories to share, we would love to hear all about your experiences in the comments below!